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The Barcelona Way

Recovering from the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich
Started on 16 August 2020 by FMBlake
Latest Reply on 31 August 2020 by TheLFCFan
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After the humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Barcelona president Bartomeu immediately sacked manager Quique Setien. Barcelona had a terrible season for their standards, also finishing behind Real Madrid in the domestic league. The Barcelona team that lost to Bayern Munich looked a shadow of the great team they were not so long ago. Bartomeu is desperate to return to the beautiful tika-taka style that the club is famous for, and Setien could not deliver that.

Club legend, Gerard Pique spoke to the media after the Champions League exit, stating; "The club need changes and I’m not talking about the coach or any one player. The club needs profound change. We have hit rock bottom. We need to reflect and do what is best for the club. "I will be the first to offer to go if we need new blood."

These words coming from one of their key players is a clear indication that change is needed. The star players at the club are ageing, and it is time for a new manager, someone who knows the club and what the philosophy means.

Meet the new Barcelona manager

Yaya Toure is the newly appointed manager, this is the former Barcelona players first job as a manger so the pressure will be intense, but he will have 100% backing and support from the board. Toure has always been a student of the game, and in his opening interview stated "I have always wanted to get in to management, I always asked Pep Guardiola a lot of questions about tactics and man management, and I believe that I have the knowledge to succeed at the greatest club in Spain. I know it won't be easy, but with world class players and the support of the staff, we can achieve the greatness this famous club deserves". The 37 year old made 74 appearances for Barcelona between 2007 and 2010. He will need to assess the current squad and look to offload players that are not going to be good enough this season and has already hinted about giving some of the young players at the club more opportunities in the first team this season.

Yaya will look to play a 4-3-3 formation with a false-nine, much like the Barcelona team played that beat Manchester United in the 2010 Champions League Final. The tactical style will be based on possession, short passing and working the ball into the opponents box, while when possession is lost, a high press to win the ball straight back. Lionel Messi will likely be the key man for Yaya Toure, but at 33, he is not getting any younger and Toure will already be searching for Barcelona's next superstar.

The first action Yaya Toure took was to make two new staff additions to the club. The first was the addition of Director of Football, Victor Orta. The former Leeds man will help Yaya Toure with scouting players and with the negotiation and buisness side of the club, after his succeed with helping Leeds gain promotion to the Premier League, he will be an added boost to the club. The second addition to the staff is Yaya's brother Kolo Toure. Kolo will be Yaya's assistant manager, Yaya stating "My brother knows me better than anyone and we are always honest with each other, we will be a great team and he will be a great support for me in my future here at Barcelona". Kolo Toure had previously been employed as a coach for Leicester City but is now looking forward to his first assistant manager opportunity.

Yaya Toure announced some big news during pre-season...

"This is a huge moment in the history of the club, as we have made the tough decision to let three players go at the end of the season. Luis Suarez, Rakitic and Leo Messi will all play their last season with Barcelona this year, as we are looking to build towards the future. They will all be sorely missed, and we are hoping to achieve great things with them this season, to give them the send of they deserve." Yaya Toure stated.
ahahaha nice goodd luck
As one story comes to an end another begins. Good luck! and please sell everybody :)
Best of luck. Some very bold movements already made by the new manager.

Yaya took the time to assess the current squad and which players he wants to offload. There are a number of players that will look to be sold; Braithwaite, Rafinha, Coutinho and Sergi Roberto. There are also some quality young players in the squad who will be loaned out this season as they are not quite ready for first team football at Barcelona, the likes of Pedri and Moriba. Toure is planning on giving Suarez and Messi starting roles this season in their last season at the club. The main target this window for Yaya is a new striker who will take Suarez role at the end of this season, as well as a ball playing centre back, and a regista as Busquets is ageing.

Yaya wants to have a strict transfer policy, only signing players that suit his style of play. Therefore, intensive scouting will take place to find the right three players to sign this window.

Here is a look at the current 22 players Yaya is looking at using this season. Braithwaite will be replaced, and Pique may get limited game time should Yaya find a suitable defender to sign.

FMBlake's avatar Group FMBlake
3 yearsEdited

After speaking with Director of Football; Orta, Yaya Toure has decided to extensively scout three identified players in the three positions he is looking for. Every one of these players have been identified as possessing traits that will suit Toure's philosophy. The transfer targets Yaya Toure is looking at are; young, ball players, who are intelligent with bags of potential to match. With around £90 million to spend after offloading some players there is enough money to bring in one of the options in each position, although some players are considerably more expensive options.

Yaya has identified the need for a ball-playing defender. Lenget will be the main center-back alongside Umtiti, but Pique is ageing, therefore will be filtered out the club in the near future. Tobido is a young center back coming through the club after a loan spell with Schalke last season. Yaya wants a center back that is comfortable on the ball but also physical enough to deal with the top strikers in Europe. Ruben Dias has been analysed, the Portuguese defender is available from Benfica for roughly £52 million, and will demand high wages. Lisandro Martinez is a much cheaper option and would cost less than £20 million, although he lacks the height and physicality that Yaya would really look for in a defender. The third option is another Ajax defender; Edson Alvarez. The Mexican defender has all the right traits and would cost Barcelona something in the region of £40-50 million. All three are great options, Martinez probably the last choice of the three but a cheaper alternative.

With Sergio Busquets nearing the end of his time at the club, Yaya would like to sign a new defensive midfielder to play in the regista role. This player must be a great passer, but also solid defensively and possess the right mental attributes to sit and hold with the center backs as the rest of the team attacks. The first option is Atalanta midfielder Malagoni. The young Italian would cost roughly £18 million and already looks a quality player able to pass, tackle and also arrive late into the box to score long range goals. The second option for Yaya is Marcos Antonio from Shaktar Donetsk. The Brazilian 20 year-old is much smaller and therefore would potentially lack the physicality to play the holding role, however he would be available for £20 million. Yaya's third option in defensive midfield is AC Milan's Bannacer. The Algerian is the most ideal candidate and ready for first team football, however he is the most expensive option and could cost the club more than £40 million. Yaya is currently edging towards either Malagoni or Bannacer.

The last position Yaya is looking to fill is the striker role. Braithwaite has been sold to Saint-Ettiene, now Suarez is the only striker at the club. The first player Toure is looking at is Sebastian Esposito from Inter Milan. The 18 year old would be available for £20 million and has the sky as his limit, already featuring for Inter Milans first team last season. Yaya is eyeing up another 18 year old, Fabio Silva from FC Porto. The tall striker would be slightly more expensive than Esposito but another fantastic option with high potential. The third and most expensive striker option that Yaya Toure is analysing is Martinez from Inter Milan. The Argentine is already a world-class striker and if signed will compete right away for a starting place with Suarez. However he would not be cheap with Inter demanding upwards of £70 million.

Yaya will take all things into account and try to balance the budget wisely to bring in one target of each identified position. But he is already impressing the board with his thoughtful, forward thinking approach and it is clear to see that he is going to have faith in younger players and is already starting to plan for life after Messi.
FMBlake's avatar Group FMBlake
3 yearsEdited

Yaya Toure wasted no time in selling players that were not part of his plans. 6 players were sold within one week. Sergi Roberto went to PSG, Vidal to Man Utd, Rafinha to Hertha Berlin and three other players. A total of £101 million pounds was added to the club funds. Allowing Yaya to finalise two signings before the first league game of the season.

The first addition to the club, Yaya's first transfer as a manager, was Sebastiano Esposito. The 18 year old arrived at the Camp Nou from Inter Milan for £20 million. He will be the second choice striker this season behind Suarez, but once the season has ended, Suarez will leave on a free transfer and Esposito will be Barcelona's leading striker. Yaya believes £20 million is a bargain for a player who can lead the line for one of the top clubs in Europe for many years.

The second addition to the Barcelona squad was Ruben Dias from Benfica. The Portuguese center back was signed for £52 million. He is a ready made, world class player and at 23 years old still has room for improvement. Lenglet, Umtiti and Dias will fight for the starting center-back position. Ruben Dias wasn't cheap for the club, demanding wages of £300k per week. Therefore, he must perform within the first couple of seasons or else Yaya Toure will look at moving him on.

Yaya is still wanting to sign another midfielder to the squad, but waiting to offload one or two more players first. Coutinho hasn't left the club yet after rejecting a contract offer from Juventus. If Yaya cannot find a suitable club for him then he may feature this season. Elsewhere, Zidane made three impressive signings for Real Madrid. Cavani joined on a free transfer, Alex Telles signed from Porto for £40 million and Paul Pogba joined Los Blancos for £99 million. Real Madrid will be a tough opponent as always for Barcelona this season, especially now with the added quality of those three signings.

The first game of the 2020/21 La Liga season was against Sevilla at the Camp Nou. After winning four out of four games in pre-season the Barcelona squad was raring to go. Yaya gave Ruben Dias a starting position alongside Lenglet, however Esposito was on the bench. Munir stunned Barcelona and gave the away side the lead after just 4 minutes. Although Barcelona didn't panic and stuck to the principles and philosophy that Toure is determined to implement. Griezmann pulled back the equaliser in the 10th minute, scoring his second just 1 minute later and then going on to score a hat-trick in just the 20th minute. Antoine Griezmann was playing unbeleivably well, scoring a hat-trick in the space of 10 minutes! Ruben Dias scored a header from a wide Messi free kick to give Barcelona a 4-1 lead after 50 miuntes. Ocampos then pulled one back to make it 5-2. In the dying moments of the game Sevilla were awarded a penalty. Munir stepped up, but Ter Stegen showed his quality with a fantastic save! A very eventful match ended in Yaya's favour, as Barcelona collect the 3 points with an impressive 5-2 win. A great start for the Barcelona boss.

On transfer deadline day Yaya Toure was desperate to bring in one of the three identified midfielders. After multiple negotiations with Chelsea and Juventus, Coutinho was eventually sold to Juventus for £50 million, freeing up the funds to make a last minute signing. Yaya Toure decided to sign Ismael Bennacer from AC Milan. The Algerian midfielder actually put in transfer request as Yaya expressed interest in the player in the media and with a previous bid. Bennacer joined Barcelona for £35 million and the 22 year old will be the ideal replacement for Busquets. Also on deadline day, two of the players Yaya had been scouting actually went to Manchester City. Fabio Silva and Edison Alvarez both moved to Manchester on deadline day. Overall it was a successful transfer window, as Yaya improved the three identified positions that were needed to take the club forward.

In the league, Barcelona faced Vallodolid after beating Sevilla 5-2. Valladolid were a tough opponent away from home with a strong center back partnership of Miazga and Salisu and Yaya's side couldn't get the winning goal. Although they played well the match ended 0-0. The last game of the month was at home against Levante. Yaya made a couple of changes, starting Esposito, Dembele and Umtiti. Rakitic gave Barcelona the 1-0 lead via the penalty spot and Esposito scored his first goal for the club in stoppage time at the end of the first half. Levante fought back in the second half but Bardhi's goal wasn't enough, the match ended 2-1 to Barcelona. Only three games into the season Barcelona are unbeaten and look like real title contenders again this season. The Champions League draw has paired Barcelona with Liverpool as well as Bayer Leverkusen and Krasnador. September will be a busy month, with the two key fixtures; Liverpool at Anfield and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou in La Liga.
Some impressive additions to the squad. A group containing Liverpool will make for a couple of entertaining clashes.
Oh Yaya
Strong start for Yaya and he clearly has a plan, something that hasn't seemed to happen much at Barca in recent times. With three of his main targets in, he has spent well, whilst chopping some big names from the squads wage bill. A new era is coming...
Loving the story. Barcelona would realy need big changes in structure. I am looking forward to realy good story.
FMBlake's avatar Group FMBlake
3 yearsEdited

After beating Levante 2-1 in La Liga, Barcelona faced Zaragoza at the Camp Nou. A dull game resulted in a 1-0 victory to Yaya's side thanks to a goal from Ivan Rakitic. The next match was the toughest game yet for Yaya as manager of Barcelona. They travlled to Anfield to face Klopp's Liverpool in the Champions League group stage. Liverpool fielded a strong side including two new signings; Fischer and Milinkovic-Savic. It was the former Lazio midfielder Savic who gave Liverpool the lead after 23 minutes, and Liverpool winger Mane made it 2-0 just 2 minutes later. Barcelona struggled against the pace and constant pressure from the Liverpool players and Viktor Fischer killed of the game making it 3-0 in the 38th minute. Liverpool created far more chances than Barcelona, but Yaya was please to see his side retain possession well, they just lacked the ruthlessness needed in front of goal to beat top opponents.

This is Yaya's first defeat as a manager and will use it as a learning point. Luckily there are still 5 games left in the group stage, so Barcelona have plenty of time to recover and progress into the knockout stages. The next test was Atletic Bilbao away from home in La Liga. Bilbao took the lead after Raul Garcia converted a penalty in the 20th minute, however Leo Messi pulled a goal back for Barcelona just 6 minutes later. The game ended 1-1, Yaya looking frustrated on the touchline sensing a lack of confidence in his side after the defeat in Liverpool. Frustration grew larger for Yaya as his side failed to score against Espanyol, a 0-0 draw meaning Barcelona have now gone 3 games without a win, with Real Madrid to face next at the Camp Nou, morale was quickly dipping and at the worst time possible.

Going into the Real Madrid game, Barcelona sat 4th in the league, Real Madrid were 1st place, having not lost a game yet this season. Gareth Bale was leading the line and was currently top scorer in the league with 8 goals in 6 games. Luka Modric had been the best player in the league so far with 5 assists and an average rating of 8.68. Although the media had Barcelona picked as favourites to win the tie, surely the home advantage edging it in Yaya's favour.

Both sides lined up with a 4-3-3 formation. Real Madrid started new additions Pogba and Telles, with a dangerous attacking trio of Hazard, Bale and Vinicius Jr. Yaya picked a more experienced side with Suarez leading the line. New regista, Bennacer has impressed early on in his Barcelona career and this was a huge game for him to please his manager even more. Alba was unavailable so Junior Firpo started at left back. The game was extremly tight, both sides were creating good opportunities but couldn't find the breakthrough goal. Hazard came off early with an injury and was replaced by the young Brazilian star Rodrygo. Right at the end of the first half, in the 45+3 minute it was the substitue Rodrygo who scored the breakthrough goal for Zidane's side. Caravajal played the ball in from the right to Vinicius Jr whos shot was blocked and it feel right into the path of Rodrygo who cooly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner past the outstretched ter Stegen. The game ended 0-1 to Real Madrid and Yaya had to face the frustrated fans after the game. Yaya spoke with the press after the game and said "We were unlucky tonight, we are still going through a transition phase, bringing the younger players into the squad, but we will do it the 'Barca Way' and even though we lost tonight, we played football how it should be played." Yaya was gutted to lose but clearly looking at the bigger picture.

The final game of September was at the Camp Nou against Krasnodar in the Champions League. After the defeat to Real Madrid, Yaya started Esposito, Fati, Dembele, Tobido and Wague. It was Esposito and Dembele who stole the show, both players scoring a brace in an entertaining 4-2 in. Barcelona took a 2-0 lead before a Vilhena wonder strike made it 2-1. Esposito made it 3-1, but one minute later Wanderson made it 3-2. Yaya demanded more from his players and just two minutes after Wandersons goal, Dembele scored his second to seal the win. Yaya's side dominated the match maintaining 60% possession and creating 28 shots. A much better display by Barcelona and a positive way to end a difficult month.

Going into October Barcelona sit 6th in the league. Not what Yaya would have hoped for, but still within distance of a title chase. Real Madrid are currently top with 19 points, 7 ahead of Barcelona. Title holders Atletico are struggling early on this season and sit in 11th.

Yaya was left frustrated once more as his side dropped points again. A 0-0 draw at home against Real Sociedad. They were sitting 2nd in the table, so it wasn't a terrible result but Yaya is eager for his side to start turning their draws into wins as he is seeing Real Madrid run away with the league already and we are not even halfway through the season. Barcelona travelled to Leganes and put them to the sword as expected. Leganes were rock bottom of the league and Yaya's boys ran rampant in a 1-4 win. Esposito, de Jong and Messi got on the score sheet as Leganes also scored an own goal. Barcelona dominated possession (63%) and looked like the Barcelona side's of old, but Yaya want's his team to perform like that against the top teams. Barcelona travelled to the Bay Arena to face Bayer Leverkusen. The German side were the superior team and won the match 2-0, goals from Leon Bailey and Kevin Volland. Yaya is really struggling against better teams and needs to reflect on his tactics as he has stuck with the exact same tactic since he took over the club, and another defeat in the Champions League could see his side eliminated from the group stage. After the loss to Leverkusen, Yaya and Kolo decided to discuss the tactical set up with the players in a meeting. The players discussed that they would like to play with an attacking midfielders to create more opportunities going forward, and by playing on the front foot believe they would get better results. Yaya listened to his players and in the next match changed to a 4-2-3-1. Messi filled in the attacking midfield position, Fati and Esposito started the match too as they have been impressing in training.

Barcelona faced Valencia away from home in La Liga and it was the players first opportunity to express themselves in the new formation. Yaya still asked the players to play a tiki-taka style of football, but more attacking then they have been playing this season. Barcelona played well, and in the 75th minute Dembele gave Yaya's side a 1-0 lead. Griezmann was subbed on for Messi and made it 2-0 after 83 minutes. Rakitic came on late and put the icing on the cake with a very late goal. A fantastic 0-3 win for Barcelona showing that Yaya's faith in his players paid off. Messi stated after the game "Yaya trusts us, and he listens, as a player, that is a dream". The Barcelona players and fans delighted with the result and the open, friendly manner that Yaya has shown, even when his team has been struggling.

Sticking with the 4-2-3-1, Barcelona picked up back to back wins beating Girona 1-0. The only goal of the game came from Antoine Griezmann, a rocket from 30 yards into the top left corner. Going into the final game of the month, against Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou, Barcelona find themselves 3rd in La Liga. Atletico have recovered from their poor start to the season and are currently in 6th place, Lemar, Costa and Felix have all been key attackers for Atletico this season, and the Barcelona defenders are prepared for a tough game. Yaya stuck with formation that has seen his side pick up some good form. He is still showing faith in younger players, starting Fati and Esposito. Dembele played on the right with Messi in behind the striker. Atletico didn't make any notable signings after winning La Liga last season. During a solid first half for Yaya's side, Ansu Fati looked like a real star, and it was the 18 year old who provided a brilliant cross for Dembele to give Barcelona the 1-0 lead. Dembele scored his 4th goal of the season, the Frenchman demanding a starting place but also being closely watched by PSG and Manchester United scouts. The game progressed and Barcelona continued to create chances, it was only a matter of time before they took a 2-0 lead. Substitute, Franciso Trincao is a player to watch for the future, and he came on to score his first goal for Barcelona. Messi whipped in a brilliant ball from the right side of the pitch and Trincao headed past Oblak.

That concluded a dominant victory for Yaya and Barcelona, a great end to the month. Since changing formation Barcelona have won 3 from 3 and look a much better side. At the end of October Barcelona are 3rd in the league, behind Real Sociedad and Real Madrid, both of those sides are yet to lose a game. Barcelona are showing signs of improvement and the younger players are really starting to shine, the likes of Fati, Bennacer and Dembele really standing out this month.

You are reading "The Barcelona Way".

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